FreshPatents.com Logo
stats FreshPatents Stats
2 views for this patent on FreshPatents.com
2013: 2 views
Updated: December 09 2014
newTOP 200 Companies filing patents this week


Advertise Here
Promote your product, service and ideas.

    Free Services  

  • MONITOR KEYWORDS
  • Enter keywords & we'll notify you when a new patent matches your request (weekly update).

  • ORGANIZER
  • Save & organize patents so you can view them later.

  • RSS rss
  • Create custom RSS feeds. Track keywords without receiving email.

  • ARCHIVE
  • View the last few months of your Keyword emails.

  • COMPANY DIRECTORY
  • Patents sorted by company.

Your Message Here

Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Spatial sound reproduction

last patentdownload pdfdownload imgimage previewnext patent

20120328109 patent thumbnailZoom

Spatial sound reproduction


An apparatus for spatial sound reproduction comprises a receiver (101) for receiving a multi-channel audio signal. An analyzer (107) determines a spatial property of the multi-channel audio signal, such as a spatial complexity or organization. A selection processor (109) then selects a reproduction mode from a plurality of sound reproduction modes where the multi-channel sound reproduction modes employ different spatial rendering techniques. A reproduction circuit (103) then drives a set of loud-speakers (105) to reproduce the multi-channel audio signal using the selected reproduction mode. The switching between the reproduction modes may be fast (e.g. in the order of 100 ms to 10 secs) thereby allowing a short term adaptation of the reproduction mode to the signal characteristics. The approach may in particular provide an improved spatial experience to a listener.

Browse recent Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.v. patents - Eindhoven, NL
Inventors: Aki Sakari Harma, Werner Paulus Josephus De Bruijn
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120328109 - Class: 381 17 (USPTO) - 12/27/12 - Class 381 
Electrical Audio Signal Processing Systems And Devices > Binaural And Stereophonic >Pseudo Stereophonic



view organizer monitor keywords


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120328109, Spatial sound reproduction.

last patentpdficondownload pdfimage previewnext patent

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to spatial sound reproduction and in particular, but not exclusively, to spatial sound reproduction including upmixing of a multi-channel audio signal.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Spatial sound reproduction in the form of stereo recordings and reproduction has been around for several decades. In the last decades, more advanced arrangements and signal processing have been used to provide improved spatial listening experiences. In particular, the use of surround sound using e.g. 5 or 7 spatial speakers has become prevalent to provide an enhanced experience in connection with e.g. viewing of movies or television. In addition, compact multi-driver loudspeaker systems such as ‘sound bars’ have become popular option for the traditional stereo and 5.1 systems. Those devices provide an experience of a wide spatial audio image for a listener even from a small device. This is based on digital processing of the signals and special physical arrangement of the device.

Spatial sound processing increasingly utilizes advanced signal processing as part of the sound reproduction to provide an improved spatial experience. For example, complex algorithms may be used to upmix an audio signal to a higher number of channels. For example, a 5 channel surround signal may at the transmitting side be downmixed to a stereo or mono signal. This signal is then distributed and the sound reproduction includes an upmixing of the received signal to the original 5-channel signal.

As another example, signal processing may be used to provide a sound widening effect to a stereo signal resulting in the listener experiencing a wider sound stage. Typically the methods are based on signal processing operations that reduce the correlation between the channels. These techniques are particularly popular in the compact loudspeaker systems mentioned above.

As another example, reproduction of a spatial signal may include an extraction of a dominating sound source in e.g. a stereo signal. The remaining residual signal will typically correspond to the ambient stereo image which is more diffuse. The dominant signal and the ambient signal may then be reproduced differently such that the reproduction characteristics are optimized for each signal.

However, although such spatial sound reproduction techniques improve the listening experiences, there tends to be some associated disadvantages. In particular, the reproduction may not provide an optimal spatial experience in all situations and the signal processing may in some cases actually result in a degraded spatial experience.

Hence, an improved system for spatial sound reproduction would be advantageous and in particular a system allowing for increased flexibility, facilitated operation, facilitated implementation, an improved spatial listening experience and/or improved performance would be advantageous.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the Invention seeks to preferably mitigate, alleviate or eliminate one or more of the above mentioned disadvantages singly or in any combination.

According to an aspect of the invention there is provided an apparatus for spatial sound reproduction, the apparatus comprising: a receiver for receiving a multi-channel audio signal; a circuit for determining a spatial property of the multi-channel audio signal; a circuit for selecting a selected reproduction mode from a plurality of sound reproduction modes, the multi-channel sound reproduction modes employing different spatial rendering techniques; and a reproduction circuit for driving a set of spatial channels provided by a set of loudspeakers to reproduce the multi-channel audio signal using the selected reproduction mode.

The invention may provide improved sound reproduction in many embodiments. In particular, an improved spatial experience may be provided in many scenarios. Typically, the spatial reproduction may be improved for the specific audio signal. The Approach may further allow a low complexity implementation and facilitated operation in many embodiments.

The selection of an appropriate reproduction method may be optimized for the specific conditions experienced while maintaining low complexity.

The spatial property may be indicative of a spatial organization and/or a spatial complexity of the signal. For example, the spatial property may be indicative of the presence of one or more dominant sound sources in accordance with a suitable criterion or process for extracting dominant sound sources. In some embodiments, the spatial property may be indicative of a spatial distribution of sounds sources in the sound image represented by the multi-channel signal.

The set of loudspeakers may specifically be loudspeakers of a surround sound setup comprising e.g. 3, 5 or 7 spatial speakers (in addition to possibly a non-spatial Low Frequency Effect speaker or subwoofer). The set of loudspeakers may be multi-driver loudspeaker systems with typically three or more individually driven loudspeakers (or loudspeaker arrays) in one physical device. The set of loudspeakers may also comprise a plurality of such devices.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, at least one of the sound reproduction modes comprises at least one of: an upmixing to higher number of spatial channels than a number of channels of the multi-channel audio signal; and a down-mixing to a lower number of spatial channels than the number of channels of the multi-channel audio signal.

The invention may provide an improved spatial experience. For example, some sound images of a stereo signal may provide an improved spatial experience when reproduced as a mono-signal. Other sound images of a stereo signal may provide an improved spatial experience when reproduced as a widened stereo signal combined with a center-signal, i.e. when reproduced using three spatial channels.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, the set of spatial channels comprise a different number of channels than the multi-channel audio signal.

The invention may provide an improved spatial experience for a sound reproduction system and may in particular allow additional degrees of freedom in adapting the sound reproduction to the specific sound image and spatial characteristics.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, a maximum switch frequency for switching between sound reproduction modes exceeds 1 Hz.

This may provide a dynamic adaptation and optimization which may closely match the varying characteristics of the audio thereby providing an improved listening experience.

The feature may allow improved performance and improved adaptation of the reproduction mode to the audio signal thereby providing an enhanced listening experience.

The approach may allow a short term adaptation of the reproduction to the signal characteristics.

In some embodiments, a maximum switch frequency for switching between reproduction modes may exceed 0.01 Hz; 0.1 Hz, or even 10 Hz.

The maximum switch frequency may be the maximum frequency at which the apparatus can switch between reproduction modes. The maximum frequency may be restricted by the design parameters of the system including characteristics of the spatial property estimation and switching functionality.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, the circuit for determining the spatial property is arranged to determine the spatial property with a time constant of no more than 10 seconds.

This may provide a dynamic adaptation and optimization which may closely match the varying characteristics of the audio thereby providing an improved listening experience.

The feature may allow improved performance and improved adaptation of the reproduction mode to the audio signal thereby providing an enhanced listening experience. The approach may allow a short term adaptation of the reproduction to the signal characteristics.

In some embodiments, the circuit for determining the spatial property may advantageously be arranged to determine the spatial property with a time constant of less than 500 seconds, 100 seconds, 1 second, 500 ms, 100 ms or even 50 ms.

The time constant represents the time it takes the spatial property to reach 1-1/e·63% of its final (asymptotic) value following a step change.

In some embodiments, the circuit for determining the spatial property is arranged to include a low pass filtering of the spatial property, the low pass filtering having a 3 dB cut-off frequency exceeding 0.001 Hz, 0.01 Hz, 0,1 Hz, 1 Hz, 10 Hz or 50 Hz.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, the plurality of sound reproduction modes comprises at least one of: a monophonic reproduction mode; a reproduction mode maintaining spatial characteristics of the multi-channel signal; a reproduction mode comprising spatial widening processing; and a reproduction mode comprising a separation into at least one dominant source signal and an ambiance signal, and applying different spatial reproduction of the at least one primary source signal and the ambiance signal.

These reproduction techniques may be particular advantageous and suited to provide improved listening characteristics for different audio characteristics. In many embodiments, the plurality of sound reproduction modes may advantageously comprise two, three or all four reproduction modes as these are particularly suited to different characteristics, and thus together provide a set of modes that provide improved reproduction for a large range of audio characteristics. The techniques may specifically together provide suitable reproduction characteristics for a wide range of audio signals.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, the apparatus further comprises: a circuit for determining a content characteristic for the multi-channel audio signal; and wherein the circuit for selecting is arranged to further select the selected reproduction algorithm in response to the content characteristic.

This may further improve the adaptation of the reproduction and provide an improved spatial experience in many embodiments. The content characteristic may for example be determined by a content analysis of the multi-channel audio signal and/or an associated video signal.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, the circuit for determining the content characteristic is arranged to determine the content characteristic in response to meta-data associated with the multi-channel audio signal.

This may provide a particularly accurate and low complexity approach that may be advantageous in many embodiments.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, the circuit for reproducing the multi-channel audio signal is arranged to adapt a characteristic of a spatial rendering technique of the selected reproduction mode in response to the content characteristic.

This may further improve the adaptation of the reproduction and provide an improved spatial experience in many embodiments.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, the circuit for reproducing the multi-channel audio signal is arranged to adapt a characteristic of a spatial rendering technique of the selected reproduction mode in response to the spatial property.

This may further improve the adaptation of the reproduction and provide an improved spatial experience in many embodiments.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, the spatial processing characteristic is a degree of spatial widening applied to at least two channels of the multi-channel audio signal.

This may provide a particularly advantageous optimization as the spatial widening may provide a significantly enhanced spatial experience for some audio characteristics but may degrade the spatial experience for other audio characteristics. Accordingly, an optimization of the spatial widening to the audio characteristics may provide a particularly advantageous performance.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, the circuit for reproducing the multi-channel audio signal is arranged to gradually transition from a first selected reproduction algorithm to a second selected reproduction algorithm.

This may provide improved performance and may in particular reduce the noticeability of changing between different reproduction modes. The apparatus may specifically be arranged to, during a transition interval, generate drive signals for the set of loudspeakers using both the first selected reproduction algorithm and the second selected reproduction algorithm and to drive the set of loudspeakers by signals generated as a weighted combination of the drive signals where the weighting is dynamically changed during the transition interval.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, the circuit for determining the spatial property is arranged to determine the spatial property in response to an energy indication for a combined signal of at least two channels of the multi-channel audio signal relative to an energy indication for a difference signal of the at least two channels.

This may be a particularly advantageous spatial property for adapting the spatial reproduction. In particular, it may provide an advantageous trade-off between accuracy and complexity for many scenarios.

In accordance with an optional feature of the invention, the circuit for determining the spatial property is arranged to decompose the multi-channel audio signal into at least one dominant sound source signal and a residual signal, and to determine the spatial property in response to an energy indication for the dominant sound source signal relative to an energy indication for the residual signal.

This may be a particularly advantageous spatial property for adapting the spatial reproduction. In particular, it may provide an advantageous trade-off between accuracy and complexity for many scenarios.

According to an aspect of the invention there is provided a method of spatial sound reproduction, the method comprising: receiving a multi-channel audio signal; determining a spatial property of the multi-channel audio signal; selecting a selected reproduction mode from a plurality of sound reproduction modes, the multi-channel sound reproduction modes employing different spatial rendering techniques; and driving a set of loudspeakers to reproduce the multi-channel audio signal using the selected reproduction mode.

These and other aspects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from and elucidated with reference to the embodiment(s) described hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the invention will be described, by way of example only, with reference to the drawings, in which

FIG. 1 is an illustration of an example of a system for spatial sound reproduction in accordance with some embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of an example of elements of a system for spatial sound reproduction in accordance with some embodiments of the invention; and

FIG. 3 is an illustration of an example of a system for spatial sound reproduction in accordance with some embodiments of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF SOME EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

The following description focuses on embodiments of the invention applicable to a spatial sound reproduction of a stereo signal using upmixing to three channels. However, it will be appreciated that the invention is not limited to this application but may be applied to many other audio signals and reproduction methods.

FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a system for reproducing sound in accordance with some embodiments of the invention. The system comprises a receiver 101 which receives a spatial audio signal comprising a plurality of audio channels. In the example, the input signal is a stereo signal but it will be appreciated that in other embodiments other numbers of channels may be employed. For example, the input signal may be a five channel surround sound input signal. In some scenarios, the input signal may be an encoded signal and the receiver 101 may be arranged to partially or fully decode the input signal for further processing by the system. For example, for each encoding segment, a frequency representation of the input signal may be generated as the intermediate frequency representation employed by the encoding scheme. It will also be appreciated that plurality of channels of the input signal may be represented by a single encoded audio signal and associated parametric data. For example, the multi channel input signal may be an encoded mono signal and spatial parametric data. As a specific example, the input signal may be a Parametric Stereo signal.

The input multi-channel audio signal may be received from any internal or external source.

The receiver 101 is coupled to a driver circuit 103 which receives the multi-channel (in the specific example the stereo signal) from the receiver 101. The driver circuit 103 generates drive signals for a set of loudspeakers 105. The set of loudspeakers provide a number of spatial channels. In the example, the loudspeakers provide a left channel, a right channel, and a center channel but it will be appreciated that in other embodiments more (or less) spatial channels may be provided. For example, in some embodiments, the loudspeakers may only provide a left and right channel. In other embodiments a full surround system is provided with e.g. five or seven spatial channels.

In some examples, the number of spatial channels provided by the speakers in the set of loudspeakers 105 may be equal to the number of channels in the multi-channel signal. However, in the example, the number spatial channels provided by the set of loudspeakers 105 is higher than the number of channels in the multi-channel signal. In the example, the driver circuit 103 may operate in some reproduction modes which include an upmixing of the channels of the multi-channel signal to the number of spatial channels. Alternatively or additionally, the driver circuit 103 may include functionality for selecting a subset of the available channels in at least some reproduction modes with the subset being different in different reproduction modes. One or more of these modes may further include down-mixing of the input channels. For example, for a stereo input signal, one reproduction mode may provide an output using two of the spatial channels (e.g. the left and right), another reproduction mode may use only one spatial channel (e.g. the center channel), and yet another reproduction mode may use three spatial channels (e.g. the left, right and center channels).

In the specific example, the set of loudspeakers 105 comprises three loudspeakers in a spatial arrangement thereby providing three spatial channels. Thus, the speakers of the set of loudspeakers 105 correspond to a left, right and mid speaker.

The set of loudspeakers is thus arranged to provide a spatial experience. In some embodiments, the driver circuit 103 may know the exact positioning of the loudspeakers relative to a listening position but typically this will not be the case, and the spatial sound reproduction is based on an assumed positioning of the loudspeakers as is known from traditional surround and stereo systems. The set of loudspeakers provide a plurality of spatial channels, e.g. they may provide a left, right and center spatial channel, which are used to provide a spatial experience to the listener. However, the set of loudspeakers need not have a single separate loudspeaker for each channel. For example, the set of loudspeakers may comprise a loudspeaker array and associated driving functionality for providing the spatial channels using audio beamforming techniques. Thus, the loudspeakers of the set of loudspeakers 105 of FIG. 1 may be perceived as the virtual loudspeakers that correspond to a given spatial location or channel. In some embodiments, each virtual loudspeaker may correspond to a physical loudspeaker but this is not necessary in all embodiments.

The driver circuit 103 is arranged to use different sound reproduction modes when driving the loudspeakers 105. The different sound reproduction modes use different spatial rendering techniques. Thus, different sound reproduction modes may apply different spatial processing algorithms and thus the different sound reproduction modes have different spatial audio characteristics. For example, one sound reproduction mode may present the multi-channel signal using only a single loudspeaker 105 (i.e. as a mono reproduction), another reproduction mode may simple drive each loudspeaker with the signal of the corresponding spatial channel without any spatial processing thereby maintaining the spatial characteristics of the input signal. Yet another reproduction mode may spread the input channels over all loudspeakers and introduce spatial widening. Thus, the driver circuit 103 is designed to be able to provide very different spatial processing and to drive the set of loudspeakers 105 with very different properties. Indeed, the different reproduction modes do not just use different parameter settings for a given spatial processing but applies different underlying principles and in particular use different spatial processing algorithms and methods.

Such a variety of reproduction modes may allow very different effects to be provided by the system and may allow a high variability in the spatial experience of a listener. However, the inventors have realized that whereas spatial signal processing may provide an enhanced experience, it may also in some cases result in a reduced spatial experience. For example, the effect of an audio format conversion algorithm (such as a spatial widening, upmixing, conversion to mono signal etc) on the perceived stereo image may be different for different contents and signal characteristics.

For example, a method may provide a wide spatial image that is suitable for an action movie scene but the same method may be perceived restless and fuzzy in the case of a news program or music with a single instrument. That is, upmixing or stereo widening which may be suitable for one type of content may produce an unwanted effect when used for a different type of content.

As another example, upmixing algorithms that aim at extracting a center channel from a stereo signal may not always work optimally when there is no clear central sound source in the stereo mixture. If a center channel extraction method is used for such content it may result in the reduction of the width of the stereo image.

Allowing the end-user to manually select or adjust the reproduction mode may allow this sensitivity to be mitigated as the user can select the mode providing the most pleasing spatial experience. However, the inventors have realized that such a solution may often not be practical as it only allows a slow and highly cumbersome adaptation.

A solution may be to define a reproduction mode for each possible type of audio. E.g. for a news program, one specific reproduction mode is used, for a film another specific reproduction mode is used etc. However, the inventors have realized that such an approach is likely to be inaccurate as the preferred spatial reproduction may not be directly linked to the specific type of audio.

Indeed, the inventors have realized that a substantially improved experience can often be achieved by implementing a dynamic real time selection of a suitable reproduction mode. The inventors have further realized that advantageous performance can be achieved by implementing such a dynamic selection based on a spatial property of the input signal. Thus, in the system of FIG. 1, the reproduction mode is dynamically selected based on a spatial property of the input signal. Thereby, a real time and fast adaptation of the reproduction mode to the specific variations in the input signal is achieved.

Such an approach allows the sound reproduction to automatically and dynamically be adapted to the current characteristics of the signal thereby allowing an enhanced listening experience. The approach furthermore allows a very fast adaptation which permits the reproduction mode to be optimized for the current characteristics and preferences rather than to an average or expected characteristic e.g. for the specific type of audio or the specific program type the audio represents. For example, the approach allows the reproduction mode to change dynamically and automatically during a sound track of a film such that e.g. both dialogue and action sounds are reproduced by the most suitable reproduction algorithm for that specific sound. E.g. it is known that the spatial image often changes continuously over the duration of a media item. For example, a movie audio scene may contain an alternation between wide stereo audio scenes and moments when only one sound source, such as a voice of an actor, is audible. In the first case it is desired that stereo image is wide and immersive while in the second case it is natural to have a clearly localized spatial location for the voice. The system of FIG. 1 provides for an automatic adjustment of the reproduction mode to reflect such preferences.

Specifically, the system of FIG. 1 comprises an analyzer 107 which is arranged to determine a spatial property of the multi-channel audio signal. The spatial property may specifically be an indication of the degree of spatial organization or complexity which is present in the input signal. The spatial property may be indicative of a degree of spatial spreading, and may in particular be indicative of whether the input signal is characterized by one or more single well defined sound sources or is more characterized by an ambient sound without strong directional cues.

The analyzer 107 is coupled to a selection processor 109 which is fed the spatial property and which is arranged to select a reproduction mode from the plurality of sound reproduction modes that can be used by driver circuit 103. The selection processor 109 is further coupled to the driver circuit 103 and controls this to use the selected reproduction mode. Thus, as the spatial property varies, the selection processor 109 dynamically and automatically switches between the reproduction modes to provide the optimal reproduction processing for the current characteristics. Thus, an improved spatial experience is achieved.

The system is specifically arranged to allow a short term adaptation of the reproduction mode to the signal characteristics. Thus, a fast switching may be allowed thereby allowing the spatial reproduction to not only be optimized on (a long term) average but also to match the more instantaneous signal variations.

Accordingly, the analyzer 107 is arranged to generate an estimate in the form of the spatial property which is low pass filtered or averaged but with a relatively high frequency. Similarly, the actual switching between reproduction modes may be performed with a relatively high frequency. Thus, rather than select a reproduction mode and use this throughout e.g. a program, the system of FIG. 1 dynamically adapts the reproduction mode to match the short term variations in the signal characteristics.

The preferred dynamic characteristics of the system may depend on the specific characteristics and preferences of the individual embodiment.

However, in many embodiments, a particularly advantageous performance may be achieved with a system that allows updates of the reproduction mode at intervals that range from typically around 50 ms to 5 minutes. The exact dynamic nature may be selected based on a trade-off between the accuracy of the adaptation to the current signal characteristics and the reliability of the system and the degree of any artefacts associated with switching between different modes.

In many embodiments, the low pass filtering included when determining the spatial property advantageously has a 3 dB cut-off frequency exceeding 0.001 Hz, 0.01 Hz, 0.1 Hz, 1 Hz, 10 Hz or 50 Hz depending on the specific preferences of the individual embodiment. Correspondingly, the spatial property may advantageously be determined with a time constant of less than 500 seconds, 100 seconds, 10 seconds, 1 second, 500 ms, 100 ms or even 50 ms. The time constant may be defined as the time it takes the spatial property to reach 1-1/e·63% of its final (asymptotic) value following a step change. For example, the spatial property may track or be dependent on one or more spatial characteristics of the multi-channel signal. A step change in this spatial characteristic while maintaining all other parameters constant will result in a change in the spatial property. The time constant for determining the spatial property may then be measured as the time it takes for this change to reach 1-1/e·63% of its final (asymptotic) value.

Similarly, the switching may be arranged in accordance with similar dynamics. Specifically, the maximum switch frequency for switching between reproduction modes may exceed 0.01 Hz; 0.1 Hz, 1 Hz or even 10 Hz. The maximum frequency may be the fastest switching possible due to the determination of the spatial property and/or the actual switching operation. Thus the maximum switching frequency may be the highest frequency variation in the underlying spatial characteristics of the audio signal that the system can follow.

In the specific embodiment, the driver circuit 103 is arranged to switch between four different reproduction modes.

In the first reproduction mode, the driver circuit 103 simply maintains the original stereo signal and does not introduce any spatial modification. Thus, this mode of operation maintains the spatial characteristics of the multi-channel input signal. In the specific example, the stereo input signal is simply reproduced as a stereo signal, i.e. the left input channel is fed to the left loudspeaker and the right input channel is fed to the right loudspeaker and no signal is fed to the center loudspeaker. Thus, in this reproduction mode the driver circuit 103 provides a stereophonic reproduction of the original audio channels.

In the second reproduction mode the driver circuit 103 reproduces the input signal as a mono signal. For example, the two stereo channels may be combined (e.g. by a simple summation) and the resulting mono signal may be fed to the center loudspeaker with no signal being fed to either the left or right loudspeaker. Thus, the second reproduction mode of the driver circuit 103 includes a down-mixing of the input signal and is a monophonic reproduction mode. Such a reproduction mode may be particularly advantageous etc in scenarios wherein the audio corresponds to a single centrally placed sound source, such as e.g. that of a news reader for a news program.

In the third reproduction mode, the driver circuit 103 is arranged to introduce spatial widening processing. In the specific example the third reproduction mode comprises applying a stereo widening algorithm to the input stereo signal. Such stereo widening tends to provide a decorrelation of the stereo channels such that a perception of an enlarged spatial image is achieved. It will be appreciated that various spatial widening techniques will be known by the skilled person and that any suitable algorithm can be used without detracting from the invention.

Such processing may be particularly advantageous when the sound image is dominated by ambient sounds rather than specific localized sound sources. For example, it may provide an enhanced experience when reproducing music created by a large orchestra with many instruments.

In the fourth reproduction mode, the driver circuit 103 separates the input signal into one or more primary source signals where each primary signal seeks to comprise sound only from a specific dominant sound source. It will be appreciated that the skilled person will be aware of different algorithms for detecting and extracting dominant sound sources and that any suitable algorithm may be used without detracting from the invention. The driver circuit 103 further generates a residual signal corresponding to the signal after the extraction of the dominant sound source(s). In the fourth reproduction mode, the input stereo signal is thus decomposed into one or more primary sound source signals and ambient stereo or surround signals.

The dominant sound source signal and the residual signal are then processed differently such that a different spatial processing is applied to the signals. As a simple example, spatial widening may be applied to the residual signal but not to the dominant sound source signals. Thus, the spatially well defined positioning of the dominant sound sources is not modified whereas an enhanced sound image is achieved for the residual signal which typically corresponds to an ambient sound environment. Furthermore, the dominant sound source signal may e.g. be presented in the center spatial channel and the residual signal may be presented in the right and left spatial channels. Thus, in this reproduction mode, all spatial channels provided by the set of loudspeakers are used and the mode comprises an upmixing of the input signal.

Methods to estimate a spatial source distribution from audio channels have been proposed. For example, a method for the determination of the direction of the prominent sound source from multi-channel audio data and estimate of the ambient sound level was proposed in M. Goodwin and J-M. Jot, ‘Multichannel surround format conversion and generalized upmix’, AES 30th int. Conference, Finland, March 2007. Two other methods for the estimation of the distribution of multiple sound sources in a stereo mixture was studied, e.g., in A. Harma and C. Faller “Spatial decomposition of time-frequency regions: subbands or sinusoids”, AES 116th Convention, Berlin, Germany, 8-11 May 2004.

The fourth reproduction mode may be particularly suitable for e.g. signals that are a mix between specific sound sources and ambient sound or noise.

The analysis of the spatial distribution of sound sources in the input signal by the analyzer 107 may for example be based on frequency-selective analysis of audio energy within each channel and/or frequency-selective analysis of the variation of some suitable numerical measures that represent the similarities between the channels. For example, the analyzer 107 may use analysis methods similar to the ones used in the MPEG Surround standard. Thus, they may be based on subband decomposition of the input signals and the computation of energy and covariance values between frequency subbands in different channels. However, it will be appreciated that many other approaches may be used such as e.g. correlation metrics related to parametric representations of the signals and/or mutual information characterizing the similarity between different channels.

FIG. 2 illustrates a specific approach that may be used in the system of FIG. 1.



Download full PDF for full patent description/claims.

Advertise on FreshPatents.com - Rates & Info


You can also Monitor Keywords and Search for tracking patents relating to this Spatial sound reproduction patent application.
###
monitor keywords

Browse recent Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.v. patents

Keyword Monitor How KEYWORD MONITOR works... a FREE service from FreshPatents
1. Sign up (takes 30 seconds). 2. Fill in the keywords to be monitored.
3. Each week you receive an email with patent applications related to your keywords.  
Start now! - Receive info on patent apps like Spatial sound reproduction or other areas of interest.
###


Previous Patent Application:
Decorrelating audio signals for stereophonic and surround sound using coded and maximum-length-class sequences
Next Patent Application:
Active delay method and a improved wireless binaural hearing device using the same method
Industry Class:
Electrical audio signal processing systems and devices
Thank you for viewing the Spatial sound reproduction patent info.
- - - Apple patents, Boeing patents, Google patents, IBM patents, Jabil patents, Coca Cola patents, Motorola patents

Results in 0.79991 seconds


Other interesting Freshpatents.com categories:
Software:  Finance AI Databases Development Document Navigation Error

###

Data source: patent applications published in the public domain by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Information published here is for research/educational purposes only. FreshPatents is not affiliated with the USPTO, assignee companies, inventors, law firms or other assignees. Patent applications, documents and images may contain trademarks of the respective companies/authors. FreshPatents is not responsible for the accuracy, validity or otherwise contents of these public document patent application filings. When possible a complete PDF is provided, however, in some cases the presented document/images is an abstract or sampling of the full patent application for display purposes. FreshPatents.com Terms/Support
-g2-0.3015
Key IP Translations - Patent Translations

     SHARE
  
           

stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120328109 A1
Publish Date
12/27/2012
Document #
13521069
File Date
01/26/2011
USPTO Class
381 17
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04R5/00
Drawings
4


Your Message Here(14K)



Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.v.

Browse recent Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.v. patents

Electrical Audio Signal Processing Systems And Devices   Binaural And Stereophonic   Pseudo Stereophonic